Call for Papers for the Annual Conference 2018: "Europe and Educational Media"

Report about the Annual Conference 2017: Religion and Educational Media

Grant of Arsen-Djurović-Prize for Historical Research on Textbooks

Newsletter of the Reading Primers Special Interest

New Publications


Call for Papers for the Annual Conference 2018: "Europe and Educational Media"

Annual Conference of the International Society for Historical and Systematic Research on Textbooks and Educational Media e.V. (IGSBi) in Bressanone (Italy) from October 5 to 7, 2018

Europe is a very important topic in European educational institutions and should be attached much more importance to than to date, regarding actual challenges and resurgent nationalisms. Educational Media play a decisive role in this context, as they a) inform about Europe in the past and present, b) spread – also controversial – narrations about Europe und thus legitimize or delegitimize Europe/the European value system, and c) make Europe comprehensible or try to do so for different target groups by various didactical and methodical means.

The international conference will deal with the relationship of Europe and educational media via three central approaches:

  1. depictions of Europe – historical development, relations between national states within Europe, economical, political, military and cultural co-operations in Europe, Europe and the non-European world, European Union (formation, development, actual challenges) – in analogous and digital, licensed and freely available educational media;

  2. European educational media projects (e.g., the “German-French History Textbook” (DFGB), the German-Polish History textbook (“Europe. Our History”), the “European Picture Gallery”, “Hi-story Lessons”) and educational media awards (e.g., “Erasmus EuroMedia Award”).

  3. multiethnicity and multilingualism as challenges for educational media in European regions (e.g., South Tyrol), border areas, and multi-ethnic states.

Contributions from historical and topical perspectives, which deal with analogous and digital educational media (also open educational resources), are welcome. We are looking forward to papers from scientists, teachers, authors of educational media, and representatives from educational politics, administration, and publishing houses.

Please send your proposal with a maximum of 2,000 characters (incl. blanks) until April 30, 2018, at the latest to the President of the Society:

Prof. Dr. Eva Matthes, e-mail:

Please convey also some short information about yourself (function, place of activity).

Feedback regarding the approval or disapproval of the proposal will be given until June 15, 2018.

Download of the Call and Application Form


Religion and Educational Media

Report about the Annual Conference of the International Society for Historical and Systematic Research on Textbooks and Educational Media e.V., 6th to 8th of October 2017, in Augsburg

In the year of the Fifth Centenary of the Protestant Reformation, the Annual Conference of the International Society for Historical and Systematic Research on Textbooks and Educational Media e.V. (IGSBi) addressed the important and often neglected topic “Religion and Educational Media”. The great approval, which was reflected by the numerous proposals and the pleasing number of more than 60 participants, underlined the importance of the topic.


The first thematic block dealt with “Interreligious Education and Educational Media”; the contributors introduced various teaching materials for interreligious dialogue and the reduction of prejudices. The second block addressed changes of media for Religious Education with regard to secularization and multireligiosity. Subsequently, the question was discussed whether and how educational media for Religious Education are responsive to the chances and risks of digitalization and take advantage of it respectively. At the end of the first conference day, the author of a current textbook for Religious Education illustrated the production process and the related considerations and decisions.






The second day started with a survey about three hundred years of textbooks for Religious Education in Norway. It was followed by a panel about the topic “Learning to Read with Catechetical Texts – Historical Approaches”, which was organized by the Reading Primers Special Interest Group. The contributors presented from various national perspectives how religious textbooks gradually evolved to reading primers. The following presentations dealt with religion as topic in different textbooks from the 17th to the 20th century, for example in textbooks for teaching German in Switzerland and Finland, in Jewish primers, and in textbooks about the history of education for university students.


At the third day of the conference, two thematic blocks dealt with the status and the meaning of religion in educational media both during different dictatorships (Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, Italy) and during the transition from dictatorial to democratic systems (Spain, Albania, Germany) in the 20th century.

Finally, different subject-related positions and perspectives with regard to the topic area “Religion and Educational Media” were presented, inter alia with a contribution about religious positioning in Religious Education, and with historical-didactic and religious-scientific considerations on a reflected presentation of religious events in educational media for History classes.

A special highlight was the award of the Arsen-Djurović-Prize for Historical Research on Textbooks, which this year was granted to Dr. Kira Mahamud Angulo (Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, Madrid, Spain) and Prof. Dr. Dr. Jan M.M.G.F. Van Wiele (Tilburg University, The Netherlands). More information

The participants from fourteen different countries had many inspired discussions about the presentations, but also during the breaks and at the common festive dinner. Once again it has become obvious how enriching it is to bring historical, systematic, qualitative and quantitative, as well as subject-related perspectives together at a common conference.

Most of the contributions will be published in a conference volume in 2018. Program

The next conference will take place from the 5th to the 7th of October 2018 in Bressanone (Free University of Bolzano, Italy). The topic will be: “Educational Media and Europe.”


Grant of Arsen-Djurović-Prize for Historical Research on Textbooks

At this year’s conference, the International Society for Historical and Systematic Research on Textbooks and Educational Media awarded the Arsen-Djurović-Prize for Historical Research on Textbooks for the third time.

The prize money – 1.000 € –, which is donated every two years by Dr. Milica Djurović (Belgrade, Serbia), the widow of the longtime vice-president of IGSBi Prof. Dr. Arsen Djurović, was granted to two awardees this year:

half to Dr. Kira Mahamud from the Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia in Madrid, Spain, and half to Prof. Dr. Dr. Jan M.M.G.F. Van Wiele from Tilburg University, The Netherlands.


The laudations were held during the common festive dinner by Prof. Dr. Eva Matthes, President of IGSBi.

Kira Mahamud was awarded for her intense, multi-dimensional research regarding primers in the Franco Regime, her dealing with the neglected topic of the procurement of emotions, and her related inclusion of linguistic aspects for the research on textbooks, for her interest in democratic transformations of dictatorial and autocratic systems, and the role of educational media in this context, and – last but not least – for her substantial methodological considerations, which she has applied in her own research.

Prof. Dr. Dr. Jan M.M.G.F. Van Wiele was awarded both for the development of a research method regarding the transformation of scientific contents for instruction (“history writ small”) and a method for interreligious analysis and the related methodological considerations, as well as for his contribution to a mutual understanding of and about religions and to the transfer of religious contents in a secularized society by means of educational media.

In the jury’s opinion, Dr. Kira Mahamud Angulo and Prof. Dr. Dr. Jan M.M.G.F. Van Wiele have contributed to the enhancement of the scientific quality and thus to the reputation of textbook research in the scientific community, with their subject-related and especially with their methodological research.


Just published:

RPI_14 1Newsletter No. 14 of the Special Interest Group Reading Primers (SIG RP) with many interesting articles and news related to research on reading primers.




New Publications

Bente Aamotsbakken / Eva Matthes / Sylvia Schütze (Eds.): Heterogenität und Bildungsmedien / Heterogeneity and Educational Media (Bad Heilbrunn: Klinkhardt 2017)

Heterogenitaet_BildungsmedienThe topic “Heterogeneity and Educational Media” has been mostly neglected in scientific research to date. Instead the present publication shows quite plainly how indispensible it is for a thorough dealing with the topic heterogeneity and teaching to focus on educational media as central steering tools.

The contributions ask from a historical and a topical perspective how educational media – analogous as well as digital ones – can facilitate and support the dealing with diversity:


This volume thus helps to close a research gap.

Link to the table of contents and to the German introduction


Anja Sauer: Materialwissenschaft im Schulbuch. Eine Analyse materialwissenschaftlicher Inhalte in Chemie-Schulbüchern mit einem Methodenvergleich für die Frequenz- und Raumanalyse [Material Science in Textbooks. An Analysis of Material Scientific Contents in Chemistry Textbooks, with a Methodological Comparison between Frequency Analysis and Space Analysis] (Bad Heilbrunn: Klinkhardt 2017)


Demands for technical topics in upper secondary schools are increasing. Due to its proximity to chemistry, material science, an interdisciplinary engineering science, has the potential to impart natural scientific principles in technical-relevant contexts of utilization. Thus the question arises, which material scientific contents can be found in Chemistry textbooks.

In this study, Chemistry textbooks are analyzed with regard to existing material scientific contents (utilization of materials, production technology, materials testing, selection of the presented materials). Subsequently the identified contents are examined regarding their relevance for material scientific practice by means of an explorative questionnaire-based survey.

Additionally, the occurrence in Chemistry textbooks from the German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany in the seventies are juxtaposed, against the background of polytechnic instruction in the GDR. Furthermore, the structural elements are identified, which serve to convey material scientific contents. For her analysis, the author has developed two sets of categories and related under-categories, using qualitative content analysis (according to Mayring). Based on these data, the results of two quantitative methods of textbook research – frequency analysis and space analysis – are compared.

Link to the table of contents and to the German introduction

Eva Matthes / Sylvia Schütze (Eds.): Schulbücher auf dem Prüfstand / Textbooks under Scrutiny (Bad Heilbrunn: Klinkhardt 2016)

SchulbuecheraufdemPruefstand If one assumes that textbooks or educational media in general are the central steering instrument of teaching, besides curricula and even more directly than these, i.e., that they play a decisive role both for the contents and for the methods of teaching, then it is obviously necessary to put them under scrutiny. But: Who puts textbooks under scrutiny? Who has the right to do so? And which are the criteria for admission?

One focus of this volume lies on state approval procedures. These differ considerably, not least depending on the respective political systems, their intentions, and their character.

A further focus lies on the attempts of various societal groups to delegitimize textbooks, for example for ideological, political, religious or economic reasons, or to push their own textbooks (and increasingly also: online teaching materials) with specific contents, which are directed against other ones.

And finally the volume includes relevant articles which examine from a (education) scientific perspective to what extent textbooks come up to the topical educational political and didactic trends, for example the implementation of educational standards and competence models.

The volume comprises contributions regarding approval and (de)legitimization procedures in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Norway, Serbia, the Czech Republic, and the United States of America.

Link to the table of contents and to the German introduction


Eva Matthes / Sylvia Schütze (Eds.): „1989“ und Bildungsmedien / “1989” and Educational Media (Bad Heilbrunn: Klinkhardt 2016)

1989undBildungsmedien The authors of this volume deal with the consequences, which “1989” – understood as cipher for the fundamental political and societal changes in Middle and Eastern Europe around 1989, often described as “turn-around” [Wende], more appropriately as “Peaceful Revolution” [Friedliche Revolution] – had for educational media.

Some of the articles give attention to the altered conditions of media production and the societal challenges for authors and publishers of educational media in former Socialist countries.

Others examine changes with regard to content in educational media for various subjects, due to the political and societal changes in the relevant countries, including the former GDR. These concerned for example the subjects English, Chemistry, Biology, History, Local Studies, and Geography.

Besides these contributions from Germany, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, and the Czech Republic, several articles deal with the depiction of the reunified Germany and the changing Europe in textbooks in countries, which were not directly affected by the revolution – in England, Finland, France, Italy, Norway, Spain, and Switzerland.

Link to the table of contents and to the German introduction